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Hi concerned reader, look I appreciate everyone’s experience is different but having been told I was due to have colonoscopy, reading “this is the worse pain of your life”, “kill yourself now because the 30 min procedure will do it anyway” didn’t exactly inspire me to actually go through with it , even though I knew I had to. In fact given that you have so many opportunities to back out i.e. not do the 24 hour prep, refuse to sign the consent forms( on a number of occasions), do a runner from the waiting room, bolt from the bed with your buttocks hanging out prior to sedation, reading stuff like that was not helpful and powered up the lungs of the procrastinating voice in my head that needs little encouragement.
Heck I understand if you have a bad experience you are more likely to put finger to keypad than someone who finds it plain sailing and is just relieved it is all over. I am not saying you shouldn’t prepare a patient for what might happen as crikey it is human nature to want to be armed with all the facts but all I am saying is it doesn’t actually help anyone to hear horror stories, which much of the time will be isolated incidents.
I will probably go on to contradict myself but here is my story and is kind of what I would have liked to hear entering the Colonoscopy pathway. Ok so I am 40 years old, had never been to the doctors or had so much as a blood test until I began having digestive problems and experiencing lower right hand side back pain, resulting in the loss of 10/12 kilos over the course of a month. Anyway my wife after much moaning from me set an appointment with a local GP, which led to blood tests, stool samples, wee samples, more blood tests, bowel specialist, CT Scan and then.......ahhhhh Colonoscopy. This was all in a two month time period so moved pretty quickly but I guess the weight loss, combined with unexplained symptoms sped it along.
So I had the Colonoscopy on Tuesday it is Friday today. The Moviprep the day before really isn’t that bad I had an afternoon appointment so took one litre at 7pm and the next at 6am which I think is probably easier than the 5pm and then again at 8pm if you have a morning appointment. I have to say the one litre drink does seem to take forever to drink but it really isn’t that bad I probably hit the poo poo factory 55 mins in and it went watery almost straightaway. It is a different experience but after an hour and a half I was done and slept pretty ok. I got up at 5 am instead of 6am for the second lot and slipped in a two hour nap between 8am and 10 am.
Ok appointment was at 1.15pm I got there half an hour early and got down to the paperwork straight away so would recommended. However thinking about it.... it probably means you are left waiting on the bed half an hour longer after you get gowned up, but hey what you gonna do?
If you are getting the Colonoscopy done of the NHS like most of us you can expect to be queued up one after the other to go in and have the procedure done. There were 4 people before me and all had sedation so you get to see the condition they come back in which was encouraging as all but one was sitting up and chatting and not distressed at all on their return. One was pretty zonked out still when he came back but the sedation effects us all differently and I am pretty sure there was no pain in the planet he was on at that time!
Then it was my turn, I got wheeled in, put on my left side and then my bum was exposed and positioned in the air like it just didn’t care. This is my one slight grip there were like 4 people going in and out of the room chatting about the previous patient and his course of action while I sat there exposed for a good five minutes....would have been nice if a little blanket could have been placed upon my lonely, cold buttock during this period! Anyway the sedation is administered and the consultant talks you through it all and pretty soon after the camera goes up and for me anyway I felt next to nothing and stayed awake the whole time. I watched it on the monitor which was interesting at first but it is amazing how quickly that becomes boring. You are aware when they turn the camera around the corner as they pump extra air in so it feels weird for 5 seconds but soon passes as does the time it feels like five minutes but you can tell from the clock it is a good half hour. They took 3 biopsies for me, which you don’t feel at all but get to view on the monitor.
Once it is over you are wheeled back to the ward as the next victim...SORRY patient desperately analyses your face for signs of distress. I was tempted to hang my tongue out and moan but instead told the guy “ don’t worry it is a walk in the park” through my oxygen mask, which I don’t think you need as I swear no air come out of it.....maybe they only use it if necessary. Anyway he was grateful for that and told me so when we shared a tea and a biscuit in the recovery room an hour later!
I was sitting up and was fine, straightaway. However maybe I was too confident as when the nurse was taking my blood pressure one last time I felt really hot and dizzy and she saw the colour drain from my face but this only lasted a couple of minutes but goes to show you can’t mess about with sedation even if you feel fine it does have an effect on your body. Anyway I was fine, got dressed and went to the recovery room and talked it over with one of the docs who said no polyps or anything horrible and probable IBS but they would wait for the biopsies to come back and the bowel specialist would discuss that and my CT scan ( taken over two weeks before but I hadn’t heard anything which I assume and at time of typing still assume is a good thing, touch wood!) with the bowel specialist I had seen previously.
My wife then picked me up after, I had probably been in hospital for 2 and a half hours. We picked the kids up from their after school clubs and went to the supermarket where I was tasked with making dinner so as you can probably tell was good to go. Slept well that night and woke up with a bit of a headache due to the sedative I am guessing but went to work as normal. It took a while to build up enough solids to have a number two which was towards the end of the day but I am happy to report all was well...............I was half expecting a scene from Alien given the biopsies and stuff that had gone on in my large intestine!
Anyway I hope this helps someone else that is worried, seriously don’t sweat it ;0)
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